If you want a better understanding of why we engage in certain habits, then this is the book for you. When I didn’t think a book could delve any deeper into the subject of why we develop certain habits, this one did.
Funny thing is, I actually found this book out of habit. Every morning out of habit, my morning routine begins with seeking new literature for self-improvement and ways to develop good habits, not just for myself, but to help others as well.
This book is divided into three parts.
The first one focusing on the individual, the second one on organizations, and the third one on societies.
First Part of the Book: Focusing on the individual
If you are looking for ways to break certain habits to improve your life, then the information presented in this reading will be of great value.
I really enjoyed how the book delves deeper into the habit loop by focusing on the three steps that occur in our brain. This book provides a great understanding of what triggers(cue) the habit, the routine (physical or mental) we follow, and lastly the reward that receive from performing the habit.
Second Part of the Book: Organizations
The second part of the book looks at the habits of successful organizations. The one take away I received from the second part of the book is the value of making lists.
From now on, I always keep a small pad of paper with a writing utensil with me. I make it a point to accomplish three things in the morning before I get to work. I do this by listing them in my small note book.
As the book mentions, one of Alcoa’s past CEOs found it to be a great way to organize his life. I never really realized how much more I accomplished and how much I saved (money and time) by keeping a list.
Also, if I have a great idea pop up in my mind, I have my little note pad to jot it down so I don’t forget. Lastly, it works great when I am adjusting a habit.
I can write down the cue, the routine, and the reward and work from there. I put more emphasis on fixing the routine, instead of focusing on the cue and reward.
Third Part of the Book: Habits of societies
The third and final part of the book focuses on habits of societies. It’s not just plain old peer pressure that can cause us to form certain habits.
Today, social media has joined in on the fun. We all see it. The vacations, new cars, phones, and winning the lotto. We can easily develop a habit of going on expensive vacations every year because everybody else is doing it, or buying the newest upgraded phone.
Habits can be changed; we just have to have a better understanding of them. This is where the book comes into play.
My husband even read the book after I finished it and begin to apply some the techniques. When he would get up in the morning he would feel tired(cue), then drink coffee (routine) to wake up (reward). By simply replacing the routine with exercise, his reward resulted in weight loss, better sleep, and less anxiety.
I read the downloadable version first. I love it so much I bought the paperback version so I could make notes in the outside margins as I read. I guess you could say it’s a habit of mine. 😉
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